Friday, October 24, 2014

What's in a Tongue?

In honor of my mom's 75th birthday this week (on the Hebrew calendar). Happy Birthday Mom! May you live in good health, increasing wisdom and simchat chayim until 120.


TongueThis week for your Shabbat table I have a question followed by two interesting stories, followed by another question, followed by a challenge.

The first question: Can most human relationship problems be healed with better communication?

Think before you answer.

The first story: Yesterday I made a shiva call to someone bereft of his mother. She had been a refugee from Germany. Her parents had fled with her through Italy, then France, then Spain and Portugal, and from there to South America before arriving to the USA.

The girl had the gift of gab, and in each country she picked up the language.

By the time she arrived to the States at age 22, she was fluent in some seven languages. This gift enabled her to land a job in the executive offices of an international toy company.

"The fact that it was a toy company was good for me," said her son at shiva.

The second interesting story was reported in the news yesterday.

Four years ago, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg set himself the goal of learning conversational Mandarin.

I don't know what his daily schedule is like, but it's hard to imagine that he has more free time than you or I. I suspect he may have less.

In any event, he put his proverbial money where is mouth is and began studying at the breakfast table.

This week, he visited China and gave a thirty minute public interview entirely in Mandarin.

These two stories lead me to the second question for your table and the challenge:

Question #2 - What language or "language" would you like to learn? (By "language" with quotation marks I mean various communication skills like empathy, attentiveness, and it may include music theory or even music appreciation. Or even....??)

The Challenge - When are you going to start?


Shabbat Shalom

PS - Anyone who is interested in learning to read and understand Biblical Hebrew would be well advised to try this fabulous book. If you would like to learn spoken Hebrew, shoot me an email.


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